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Pictograph Cave State Park, Billings

3.7
#2 of 12 in Parks in Billings
State Park · Historic Site
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Pictograph Cave State Park is home to naturally eroded marine sandstone. These rock shelters were used by native people who created rock art painted up to 2,145 years ago and perhaps earlier. In our 'green' designed Visitor's Center, you can learn about artifacts left behind for over 4,500 years. Located just five miles southeast of Billings, this 23 acre park features walking trails, picnic grounds and interpretive trail stations; everything you need for a fun and educational get away!

This unique place is a site of spirit writing and believed to be used by different native tribes for ceremonial and vision quest purposes. For the entire time people have painted on the walls of this cave, rain water and snow-melt have leached through the sandstone depositing soluble minerals on the cave wall and images. Then, when heavy rains or snowmelt occur, the water saturates the sandstone and that veil of minerals will lift and the images beneath become more visible. While on a dry day you may see 10-15 pictographs, on very wet ones, 30-40 images seem to appear directly from the rock. The Crow people say these images are drawn by the spirits, and whichever ones you see are meant to give you a personal message.
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Pictograph Cave State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
421 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Although the actual pictographs drawn by early inhabitants are hard to see, this attraction gives some insight into their traditions and way of life. The hike up to the caves was enjoyable on a nice....  more
    Although the actual pictographs drawn by early inhabitants are hard to see, this attraction gives some insight into their traditions and way of life. The hike up to the caves was enjoyable on a nice....  more »
Google
  • This was a quick loop trail with some cool informative boards discussing the history of the caves and the hand paintings from thousands of years ago. It feels great to be in such a place with a long history and relevance for the Native Americans. I would definitely stop by if in Billings, only 15 minutes outside of town.
  • You can see the entire park in an hour.

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